The replacement of the Pattullo Bridge has been talked about ever since I moved to the South of Fraser ten years ago. TransLink is once again launched full-steam into planning for its replacement. While I think (as I believe most people do) that the Pattullo Bridge needs to be replaced as it has some major structural issues, I can also understand why many citizens in New Westminster and Surrey have concerns about increasing capacity for automobile traffic that will go through their neighbourhoods. The Lions Gate Bridge is a recent example of improving the safety for cyclist, pedestrians, and motorist on a bridge without increasing capacity. The Province originally wanted to expand the bridge, but the citizens of Vancouver said no. The bridge was essentially rebuilt, but no new auto lanes were added. Interestingly, the world did not come to an end as some motorist predicted. As New Westminster citizens already cancelled the North Fraser Perimeter Road, will they also be successful in putting the replacement Pattullo Bridge on a diet?
I received the following email from a group called "New West Pattullo Bridge Group":
A number of friends, neighbours, and local groups from New West and Surrey are going to gather at Sapperton Park, near the TransLink open house, at 9:30am to walk the block to the Pensioners Hall together - some with signs, some with letters to the TransLink Board, and some with activities that children will enjoy during our brief event. This will be a family-friendly event, we will not be disrupting traffic or any businesses. Our goal is to show TransLink we are an engaged community and we need more consultation – we will be firm and respectful.
This is our opportunity to show officials the range of people concerned about the impact of traffic on our communities, the lack of transportation choices and proper public consultation, and that our concern is growing—Today’s decisions will affect our future.
Date: Next Saturday, 23 June, 2012 at 9:30am
Meeting Place: Sapperton Park, across Columbia Street from Royal Columbian Hospital